LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2016 Grants Challenge
🎉 Winner

Cleantech 2 Edtech: LA schools save energy as students and startups implement cleantech innovations

Cleantech 2 Edtech will speed energy saving innovations into LA schools, engage students in energy saving projects and open new opportunities for fast growing cleantech companies in Los Angeles.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Southern California Edison

Please describe your project proposal.

Cleantech 2 Edtech will explore new clean energy and water technologies and work with LAUSD and the utilities to pilot them in the district. We will offer complementary education and internship opportunities for high school students interested in learning more. LAUSD and LADWP are developing pilot technologies for funding in a new Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). This project would complement their efforts and access funding both to educate and to develop emerging efficiency technologies.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your proposal impact?​

Federal research grant funding

Jobs per capita

High growth startups

Patents per capita

Percentage of graduates from local higher education institutions that remain in LA County 5 years after graduating

Recruiting and retention rates for local higher education institutions

Venture capital investment

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


LADWP and SCE's rate paying territories

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CREATE?

Cleantech 2 Edtech will make LA the best place to create through nurturing the coming generation of cleantech innovators and the jobs they bring, helping schools secure cleaner energy and water more efficiently, and promoting a culture of energy awareness amongst the creative minds in our school system.

The cleantech industry is growing fast in Los Angeles. With the opening of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), more young companies are locating to Los Angeles and bringing with them diverse job opportunities, including software programmers and highly skilled technicians to build new cleantech devices. Such jobs provide an opportunity for diverse communities to develop economically. Cleantech 2 Edtech aims to support the growing cleantech boom and take awareness of these opportunities into LA’s schools, while helping the school system meet its energy efficiency goals by piloting these new technologies.

Cleantech 2 Edtech consists of three program elements. The first comprises a process of identifying promising companies and their technologies suitable for incorporating into the school system, and helping to fulfill the energy efficiency and water conservation goals of the LAUSD and LADWP. These target technologies include advanced lighting, HVAC and building controls, and water and gas saving technologies, among others.

The second component will foster the success of these pilot trials by providing grant dollars through a supplement to Caltech’s existing FLoW – Rocket Fund program, and the LAUSD/LADWP pilot program, to support the development and field testing. The Rocket Fund is sponsored by California’s six major utilities, including LADWP, as well as Caltech and the Moxie Foundation and embraces the full range of cleantech innovation, including both energy and water efficiency technologies.

The third element incorporates an education module for motivated high school students focused on these efficiency technologies. This module may feature on-the-job learning opportunities where students will be paired with cleantech startup companies. Working alongside the entrepreneurs they will learn the elements of entrepreneurship in a familiar setting. This practical training will complement more formal high school education, with highly motivational real world experience and future job opportunities.

Cleantech 2 Edtech will allow the schools to reach their mandated energy efficiency goals faster, while creating an interactive and creative learning environment for its students. Enhancing opportunities for cleantech companies in Los Angeles will mean high-quality, better paying jobs for all, including the underserved communities. This will also help provide a skilled workforce and idea pipeline for the already growing cleantech community in the region.

This program will be established at pilot sites within LAUSD, and if successful, rolled out more widely.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

The goals of the project are to establish a pilot program that supports cleantech startups developing new energy and water efficiency technology, and introduces these new technologies into LAUSD operations faster and more efficiently, to provide strategic funding for these pilot trials to foster successful outcomes, and to develop a learning program for high school students who wish to explore becoming an cleantech entrepreneur.

To measure our success Cleantech 2 Edtech will track the following:

•Number of cleantech companies who engage

•New technologies tested and their areas of application

•Percent of tested technologies that could be adopted within the school system

* School Engagement: number and staff

* Student Engagement: number participating, and applicants

•Company satisfaction with the program and percentage that will continue beyond the pilot phase

•Educational institution satisfaction

•Potential to scale the pilot and apply to the rest of the school system

* Utility interest in expanding the program

•Rocket Fund impact: new funding opportunities for participating companies and engagement with new customers

•Energy and water savings from piloted technologies

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Advisors/board members